Frequently made mistakes by “Western” OD consultants in Asia and Mid East

1) Assume that corporate culture overrides and mitigates the cultural differences between locations, and promulgate a corporate culture which may not be suitable.

2) Assume that political correctness is a shared concern, and correct people who use terms like chairman and elevator lady.

3) Ask a lot of questions and prefer facilitation of open discussions as tool of choice  in cultures where the consultant is supposed to know, not ask, and in cultures where  discretion is preferred to openness.

4) Assume that misrepresentation is lying; it may be saving face.

5) Over-rely on your “intuition”. Intuition does not bridge cultural divides all that well.

Share